Up until last week, it appeared that his Superbike journey was at an end, but instead, in a dramatic turn of events, it looks like Marco Melandri is a sure thing. It appears that the Italian will be on the starting grid in 2019, on board a Yamaha. The GRT team will entrust him with one of its two R1 bikes, while the other will be in the hands of Supersport champion Sandro Cortese.
Following his split with Ducati, it looked as if Melandri was out of the running, though his manager Vergani had hinted that there might still be a way for him to remain in Superbike. There was also the option to move to MotoAmerica with team Attack, but it now seems as if the rider turned that particular opportunity down.
Melandri will therefore postpone a possible future in the States to remain in the world championship, where he will compete with the Yamaha R1. A team with a strong Italian influence, also in the shape of main sponsor PATA. The fans will be pleased, perhaps Italian TV too, seeing as the championship rights are still up for debate, with the Mediaset channel the most likely contender.
The Italian will attend EICMA this week, meaning that the official announcement of his hiring by GRT may be imminent.